Friday, December 21, 2012

Food Porn Friday

I love my bosses and my coworkers but today, knowing that Mac and I are heading to my parent's house up north tonight, I would much rather be snuggled under about 50 blankets drinking this and watching Christmas movies.  

I can't believe that this is my last morning in my apartment before Christmas.  As always December has flown by, just me or does it seem to go faster the older you get?  I remember childhood Decembers filled with tree decorating and pageants, it seemed to take for ever to get to the 25th.  Then finally we would be at church on Christmas eve and then home were I would be under the covers in a blink because the big man was coming and I was not gonna be caught awake, nope!

Even if it is all going by faster it's still wonderful and I can't wait to head north where it will be that little bit colder.  Merry Christmas loves and very safe travels, more recipes and pictures to come throughout the week! 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Brown Paper Packages

It's here, the time of December when I start to love the sight of my mail man and pray that he has the packages I ordered.  Lately to keep my sanity and save time I've been doing almost all my shopping online.  Not that I don't love supporting local mom and pops, but this year I've had at least half the gifts sent directly to my parents house so that I don't even have to drive them up.  Lazy? Maybe, but it has been so relaxing and I've had more time to spend celebrating the season.  Now let's just hope everything arrives on time and undamaged.  

How much of your shopping is online or do you hit the stores?    

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Ugly Sweater Party!

Hot glue and pom poms, merry Christmas to me!

What a sensational weekend!  Disneyland ditch day, Christmas light walk, aaaand an ugly sweater party with gift exchange and chocolate chip cookie about a Christmasie weekend. 

Since ugly sweaters were scarce we all made our own, cuz we're really cool people.  Kimmie and Juan took first place, how could they not with those Santas!

 These Hanukkah sweaters made me smile all night!

Rudolph came to visit, love the lights on their sweaters. 

The only picture of Mac in his sweater.  Have you ever been to an ugly sweater party or made your own?  How creative did you get?  Maybe next year I can make mine play music.  Merry Christmas loves!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Guess What I'm Doing Today...

I'm having an amazing Disneyland ditch day!!!  Ok, so it's not really ditching cuz my bosses know I'm here and I'm getting vacation time, but what's better than that?  Regular pay and a day at the D...yes please!!!  

There are so many things I'm thankful for today.  Having loving friends and family, that my brother married one of my oldest friends, another old friend is here to visit, oh and their birthdays are December 10th, 12th, and 14th.  Add all this together and it means "Happy Birthday to you three, let's party at Disneyland!"  

So that is exactly where we will be at today.  If anyone needs me this is what I'll be doing:

  • Wearing mouse ears and/or a Santa hat.
  • Eating churros, the chocolate chunk cookies they sell at Pooh Corner, and the mozzarella sticks they sell at the Golden Horseshoe that aren't on the menu but they make if you ask for them.  
  • Riding Space Mountain at least twice and making ridiculous faces when it goes around the last curve and the camera flashes.
  • Skipping.
  • Lamenting that the Haunted Mansion is Nightmare Before Christmas themed, them loving it. 
  • Trying to time the line on India Jones so that I get the seat with the steering wheel.
  • Looking at the line for the Matterhorn and not really lamenting the fact that we didn't ride it because that SOB will give you whiplash.  
  • Going to the Tiki Room, cuz that my friends is original Disney magic. 
  • Watching the Christmas fireworks and feeling like I'm about seven years old. 
  • Adding bourbon to my hot chocolate. 
  • Loving the looks on the children's faces when it snows foam on Main Street. 
  • Eating cookie dough ice cream from a rainbow sprinkle while sitting on the curb of Main Street watching the parents drag home all the sleepy little ones.  
Have a wonderful weekend loves!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

What's Your Favorite Holiday Treat?

What is the one treat that your willpower just will not stand up to at a holiday party?  I had a math teacher in high school that made us Italian snowflake cookies - pizzelle one day each December (aka only day of math that was livable), my dad loves having rompope Mexican eggnog that he had growing up, and I just can't resist a good chocolate crinkle cookie among other things.  

So what makes your Christmas tummy happy?  English pudding, ginger bread men, peppermint truffles? I'd love to hear about it and if you have the recipe send it along!

Here's a crinkle recipe I cant wait to try!

Photo via

Friday, December 7, 2012

Food Porn Friday

Doesn't this cake look absolutely delicious?  It also makes me think "I want Frosty in my tummy" but I'm gonna try not to think about that.  

What are your plans for the weekend loves?  I was supposed to be going to a cookie party this weekend but after feeling a little under the weather yesterday I think it might be best to skip it and not contaminate everyone.  

So I'll probably be spending the weekend with Mac, writing Christmas cards, cooking, and hopefully Christmas shopping.  Happy Friday and have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Peppermint Bark Covered Grahams

Are you ready for a super easy, Christmas in your mouth, thank you lord treat?  No, then you probably shouldn't be reading this post.  If you answered yes, then I have the treat for you!

I was walking around Christmas shopping in the rain last weekend contemplating where to get my cozy warm latte...the nearby Starbucks had chocolate covered grahams but Peet's Coffee had peppermint bark.  So I said screw the treat, got a latte from Peet's, and stopped by the grocery on the way home to get supplies to put the two together.  

I already had some chocolate chips at Mac's house so the supplies were pretty cheap, but I can guarantee you the ingredients for a whole bunch of these are less than $10. 

And if you have little ones or are spending the day with a niece or nephew this is the perfect treat to make. I once put a bunch of candy canes in a Ziploc bag inside of a Ziploc bag, put it on the ground, and told my niece to stomp on them and smash them.  It's like someone told her she was going to Disneyland. Give the treats a try and let me know what you think.  Wouldn't this be a pretty hostess gift or perfect for  for a cookie party?  

More photos and the recipe after the jump. And if you're feeling generous pin it to share with others!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Weekend Review, Christmas Touches

 Like most weekends, this one didn't go as expected but we did have a great time getting in the Christmas spirit.  I love having even little touches around like these snowflakes.  Thank you 99 Cent Store, yeah we keep it classy at Christmas time. 

 I may or may not have spent some time laying under the tree with the cat looking at the lights.  

 Rainy day, fire place, tree decorating, and Andy Williams Christmas on the record player...that's right baby, we do Christmas time right over here!

 California Santa!  I don't know how I got him to do this but I love it!

 Cranberry martini, yummm!

I was lucky enough to spend rainy Sunday morning decorating my friend Katy's classroom for Christmas and eating amazing Cuban pastries, thank you Katy!

Hope you all had wonderful weekends as well and that today is off to a great start loves!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Too Soon For The Tree?

When is too soon to get the tree?  I grew up with a fake white Christmas tree, 1960's much, so our tree went up the day after Thanksgiving.  Apparently this is not how it always works with real trees.  

Mac is a fan of real trees and has been against getting the tree so early in the season, he's a second week of December kind of guy.  Something about the tree drying out, hundreds of hot lights, fire hazard, blah,blah, blah...but this year he's agreed to get it early.  We're getting the tree tonight!  We'll be at home with a couple friends drinking wine and enjoying the pine smell!

What's your tree tradition, real or fake?  How soon is too soon? 

Have you seen this? I swear my mom has said most of these things!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Friday Food Porn

Rainy, cozy December days call for peppermint hot chocolate!  Doesn't this just make you want to curl up in a floppy sweater with a book?  I found this recipe here, but my favorite version is the simple cocoa recipe with peppermint schnapps for an extra kick.  Happy Friday!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Pasta Party

 A couple weeks ago my friend Abbey and I decided to take a pasta class and it was one of the funnest things we'd done together in a long time!  We both love to cook but the group setting, family style meal, and glasses of wine made it feel more like a party then a class.  

 The ten of us in the class spent three hours around a round table making four types of pasta: dill linguine with salmon, butternut squash ravioli with brown butter and sage, pasta bows stuffed with spinach and ricotta in a creamy garlic sauce, and lasagna in a spicy marinara sauce. 

 I've mentioned before that pasta has never been my forte and this class taught Abbey and I so much.  I learned that what I thought had been ruined dough just meant that I had not been working it enough to come together and that you don't need a pasta machine to make great noodles, but it sure does help. 

 Feeding the past through the machine took some practice, all of us ripped it at lest once. I felt like such a pro by the end of class though that I'm on the verge of buying the attachment. 

 Our stuffed bows ready to boil. 

Spicy marinara?  Yes please!

Our class at Hipcooks was so much fun Abbey and I can't wait to take another.  They even offer a cocktail and appetizer class,how fun does that sound?  Have you ever taking a cooking class?  What would you want to brush up on?  

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Kitchen Essentials: French Press

It's that time of year when we start thinking of gift ideas for the whole family...but also when the whole family starts asking you what you want.  This is one of the goodies I want this year.

I love my giant makes-ten-cups-in-one-minute coffee maker but sometimes I miss the flavor of the coffee from the little french press I had years ago.  So I started the hunt for a nice coffee press and now I can't make up my mind.  Aren't these all just too adorable!  

So here are some ideas if you're looking to add a new touch to your kitchen or if you know someone who would love one of these.  
Which is your favorite?  There are lots of alternative colors but unfortunately I can't find other colors of the pink press outside of the UK.  Links to all ten are available here!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pumpkin Bread French Toast

What's that you say?  You have a full house for Thanksgiving, you've never made a turkey, and oh have no idea what to make everyone for breakfast.  Ta-da, pumpkin bread french toast!  Quick, easy, cheap, and everyone will be impressed.  

I started with the Trader Joe's box pumpkin bread mix, it's so good you might as well save yourself the time of making it from scratch.  I also made the pumpkin bread the night before and let it cool while I slept, sleeping in is always a plus!  So whip up a batch for Thanksgiving morning or brunch with friends.  A full loaf of bread will serve 12 and should cost $12 or less depending on what you have in your pantry.  Recipe after the jump!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Over The River And Through The Woods

Wouldn't you kill for this table setting?

Isn't it funny how short weeks can feel the longest. Sitting at your desk knowing in two hours you'll be on your way to family, turkey, turkey, turkey, and champagne!  It's like being a little kid in school on the day before summer at 2:15.  

Well the car is packed and at 12:00 I am on my way to my family's for Autumn happiness! Have a very happy Thanksgiving loves, may your weekends be filled with love and pie!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Food Porn Friday

What do you say we give Fridays a little twist and add some food porn?  I mean who doesn't need more delicious looking food in their life?  Well my tummy pooch doesn't but what the hell, these pumpkin cinnamon rolls look scrumptious and I want them!

Depending on the timing and just how much room we have in my parent's oven I may have to whip up a batch of these for Thanksgiving morning. I have been wanting to try them for a while and at least with everyone around I wont end up eating them all.  

I almost always have cooking on the brain but this weekend I am especially excited.  This Sunday my friend Abbey and I are off to a pasta making class and gourmet meal.  I've tried a couple times and have never been able to really master home made pasta aside from gnocchi so this will be a much needed class.  Anyone else have fun weekend plans?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Recipe: Homemade Apple Cider Doughnuts

A few years ago my brother and his wife took an October trip to Vermont, visited apple orchards, took pictures of leaves, and came back telling tales of these wonderful treats called apple cider doughnuts.  Growing up in California we aren't surrounded by apple orchards but the ones I had been to never had cider doughnuts...I've been lamenting this since. 

This fall I decided the time had come to make some myself and after seeing this delicious recipe from The SoHo I got my butt in the kitchen.  I've made a few adaptations  and my expectations were high but these little treats didn't disappoint. 

I have to say I was intimidated by the notion of frying,I had never fried anything before in my life, turns out..I was intimidated for nothing.  The doughnuts are simple and I didn't burn myself once, not that I'm accident prone or anything. 

Go ahead, try them out, and let me know what you think.  How perfect would these treats be on Thanksgiving morning all snuggled up watching the parade?  Recipe after the jump.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


There are somethings I can't be without in my kitchen and lately I have been craving ginger.  Like crazy craving it.  The first time I really became a fan of ginger I was surfing the crimson tide in high school, hating life with nausea and a headache when my friend gave me some candied ginger to eat.  Amazing!  Eased my sweet tooth and helped with my symptoms holistically.  Since then ginger and I have been best friends.  

I've started drinking Yogi ginger tea almost every evening and when it comes to cocktails I've gotten just a little addicted to Canton ginger liqueur (I buy the sample size).  There's something so energizing about the smell of ginger, I find myself constantly buying candles to keep around my place. And let's not even talk about cooking with ginger, well let's talk about it but we'll save that for another blog post cuz honey I love that too!  

Here's a link to some of the benefits of ginger and a few ginger liqueur cocktail recipes, I just can't get enough!

1.Yogi ginger tea / 2.Candied ginger / 3. Versatile ginger root 4.In everything / 5.Ginger snap recipe / 6.Wanting this ginger candle 7.Domaine de Canton

Friday, November 9, 2012

Happy Cozy Friday

Happy Friday lovelies!  We are finally getting cold and cozy weather her in southern California.  There was rain off and on all day yesterday and I loved every second of it!  I took this picture yesterday on my lunch break at my favorite coffee house. The walls are lined with books, it's filled with overstuffed chairs, warm lighting, and has the coziest sitting area around a great big fireplace...perfect for a rainy afternoon.  

Anyone have weekend plans?  It looks like Mac and I will be having another quiet weekend.  I have more Etsy orders to fill and after talking to my mom about her baking adventures I am now craving apple pie.  Looks like a weekend in the craft room, the kitchen, and the gym.  Have a great weekend, whatever you end up doing!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Pumpkin Eclairs With Chocolate Ganache

When I was a little girl and my family would go to the local bakery I loved to stand in front of the glass pastry case staring at the eclairs.  Dreaming of pastry filled with custard dipped in chocolate!  The first time I had one I was a gonner.  

Years later when I got to work behind the scenes at the bakery walking into the smell of eclairs baking I felt like I was in Willy Wonkas chocolate factory.  Sheer heaven and surprise.  Eclairs were far simpler to make than I imagined.  I thought they would be challenging like croissants but luckily even a novice could make them...and eat them.  

 It has been a few years since I made eclairs but I got to thinking about pumpkin filling and before I new it I was in the kitchen. I was so happy with the results that I have to share the recipe.  What's not to love?  We're talking pumpkin, pastry, and chocolate!  Recipe after the jump. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Go Vote!

Left, right, or center please get out there and vote today! 

Weekend Review

Starbucks red cups are here, what more do you need to have a great weekend?  How about a spa day facial and massage?  I love Living Social sometimes!  Saturday was a relaxing morning with my coffee, a great workout, then an afternoon at a fun eclectic spa.  Messy hair and no make up after my day there but my skin feels fabulous!  

We spent Saturday night watching college football and somehow I ended up at the one sports bar in southern Californa that was filled with Oregon fans.  I didn't make a lot of friends.  

Sunday was Crispin cider on tap at Whole Foods after lunch and an afternoon in my craft room filling Etsy orders.  Loved having a weekend with no set plans after all the Halloween activities last week.  A perfect reminder to take care of my self, get lots of sleep, and the importance of sitting with my guy for a little quiet time.  

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!  We have a wonderfully chilly and foggy day here in Southern California, perfect to get all the little ones in a spooky mood.  We'll be staying in tonight, my brother and his wife are coming over to have dinner and pass out candy to the kids.  I love seeing their costumes and which are the most popular this year.  What are your plans?  Here's a few Halloween links that might come in handy tonight. 

Last minute costume ideas.
These 24 easy Halloween treats.
It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown download. 

And here's a little MJ to get you in the mood!  Have a great evening darlings whatever you do!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Weekend Review

What a busy weekend!  Friday after work Mac and I put the finishing touches on our costumes and headed out to a great backyard Halloween party.  Saturday morning was time for a much needed workout, followed by lunch and a beer at Whole Foods.  Then it was off to carve pumpkins with my brother and his wife, eat dinner, and put on a spooky movie in the background.  From their house Mac and I went to our second Halloween party which featured a pretty awesome disco dancing roller skater, more costumes need to come with their own soundtrack.  

Sunday was our relaxed day.  Mac worked while I ran errands, hit the gym, then made apple cider doughnuts for the first time!  Recipe is coming next week.  That evening we had a great french dinner to celebrate our 3rd year of dating.  The food was divine but my stomach let me that know that it wasn't such a fan of all the butter. Even feeling sick, it still turned out to be a great anniversary and a wonderful weekend!  But boy after how busy we were it's kinda nice to be back in the office.  

How was your weekend?  I'm thinking safe thoughts for all you lovelies on the east coast!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Happy Friday!

Friday is finally here, a few days before Halloween with so many possibilities for the weekend!  Mac and I are going to a party tonight and another tomorrow night.  I spent last night working on his Roman costume and I think it just might work.  Other than the parties we'll be carving pumpkins with friends and probably putting a few spooky movies on in the background!  

What are your weekend plans?  If you're in the mood for an old Halloween themed comedy check out Arsenic and Old Lace staring Cary Grant.  It's streaming on Netflix and is so much fun and perfect if you have little ones (or are not a fan of scary movies yourself). Have a great weekend!
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